Best long sleeved cycling jerseys for autumn and spring riding

A long sleeved cycling jersey is a riding wardrobe staple, providing protection against cooler temperatures

Best Long Sleeved Cycling Jersey
(Image credit: Cycling Weekly)

With their ability to dress up or down via layering, the best long sleeved cycling jerseys offer incredible versatility, making such a garment a very shrewd investment as one piece of kit you will get a lot of use from.

There is a huge variety of long sleeved cycling jerseys on the market and finding the ideal one for you will depend on your cycling needs.

The best long sleeved cycling jerseys are perfect for plugging holes between warm weather, where you'll mostly want to opt for a breathable short sleeved cycling jersey (unless you opt for a UPF protection summer long sleeved jersey), and winter, where you'll want one of the best winter cycling jackets to wrap up in.

If you're looking to bridge the gap for the in-between seasons, then the best long sleeved cycling jerseys will be thermal with soft fleecy inners, and ideally offering an element of water or wind protection.

For the warmer weather, the best long sleeved cycling jerseys will simply provide arm protection in the same fabric that a short sleeve version is made from. These can also be a great option when warming up for an event.

There are even hot weather long sleeve jerseys, that act as an excellent sun block, protecting skin from harmful UV rays, preventing the need for regular sun cream application while still being incredibly breathable. 

We’ll give you some pointers on what to look for and how to find your match below, but first here’s our pick of our favourite long sleeved cycling jerseys. Many will have both male and female versions available, so don’t be discouraged if it’s a member of the opposite sex in the image.

Best long sleeved cycling jerseys

Rapha Pro Team Training Long Sleeve jersey

(Image credit: Future)

Best all round long sleeved cycling jersey

Specifications
Sizes: 6
Fit: Male
Colours: 4
Reasons to buy
+Great fit with stay put hems+Looks great on +Supportive pockets
Reasons to avoid
-Not fleeced fabric

The Rapha Men’s Pro Team Training Long Sleeve jersey straddles that period between seasons where it’s not yet cold enough for full winter garb and not yet hot enough to strip down to exposed limbs.

With no fleeced liner, we found it to be super versatile, wearing it on test with just a lightweight base layer for warm days, pulling on top of a short sleeve jersey when the weather had cooled and even adding arm warmers underneath to extend its season further still.

It's a race-orientated fit, but there's enough room for layering underneath and it's well constructed, with the elasticated hem doing a great job at holding the jersey in place, even with loaded rear pockets. Talking of pockets, it's also scores top marks in that department too, being of a decent size and stretch for ample space without any sagging, although there's not a zipped pocket if that's something you look for. 

It's become one of Cycling Weekly's  go to pieces of kit, and a really good swap out for the Rapha Pro Team Aero jersey   for training in the cooler temperatures. 

Endura Pro SL Long Sleeve Jersey II in the image is in kingfisher blue/green colour

Endura Pro SL Long Sleeve Jersey

(Image credit: Future)

Best long sleeved cycling jersey for riders with long slim arms

Specifications
Sizes: 6
Fit: Male
Colours: 3
Reasons to buy
+Fit is ideal for riders with broad chests and long thin arms.+Impressive thermal properties+Eco credentials
Reasons to avoid
-Long long sleeves-Tight cuffs

Constructed using a highly stretchable and quite thin fabric, the Endura Pro SL Long Sleeve Jersey II doesn’t have a fleecy backing like many long sleeve jerseys but does feel pretty soft and pleasant next to the skin.

Cut incredibly well, our tester with a broad chest, but long thin arms found it one of the best fitting long sleeve jerseys he's ever come across. But it's worth noting that the arms are really long, and when combined with the tight cuffs make wearing and seeing a watch near on impossible. 

The jersey works well with a thin base layer and on test didn't even feel constrictive with a long sleeve layer underneath. Combining with a gilet and base layer allows the jersey to cope with cooler weather still, and we found it did a great job at keeping riding temperature in check, coping admirably with sweat build up when working hard.

Made from recycled products there's a lot to love about the Endura Pro SL II making it one of our favourite long sleeved cycling jerseys. 

Perfetto RoS Long-Sleeve Jersey

Perfetto RoS Long-Sleeve Jersey

(Image credit: Castelli )

Best long sleeved cycling jersey for performance focused riders

Specifications
Sizes: 5
Fit: Male, female
Colours: Multiple
Reasons to buy
+Excellent fit+Mid-range temperature protection+Good rain protection
Reasons to avoid
-Limited pockets-Versatility sleeves

Cut with performance in mind, the Perfetto RoS Long-Sleeve jersey is the perfect companion for racking up the competitive miles.

With a temperature range ideal for spring and fall, the latest version of the Perfetto jersey has been engineered to provide water and wind resistance, with a GORE Infinium 205 warm fabric at the front for warmth and protection, and a GORE Infinium 203 back for restriction free movement. 

Breathable fabric has been added where it's most needed, with zipped venting at the chest aiding moisture management. 

The racing focused jersey does only have two rear pockets for essentials only, and as Castelli has a jersey for every season, weather, riding zone, and discipline it does make the Perfetto RoS Long-Sleeve very focused, there's even a Castelli Perfetto Light  which is a short sleeved version, considered the lighter weight iconic Gabba jersey, for an even more niche version. 

The Perfect long-sleeved cycling jersey for the exacting rider, less so for a do all option, but if you are looking for the best long sleeved cycling jersey for performance, you can't do better. 

Pearl Izumi Pro Thermal Jersey in the image is displayed front on and in teal colour.

Pearl Izumi Pro Thermal Jersey 

(Image credit: Cycle Store )

Best long sleeved cycling jersey for warmth with minimal bulk

Specifications
Sizes: 8
Fit: Male, female
Colours: 2
Reasons to buy
+Quality construction+Warmth for minimal bulk+Impressive number of features
Reasons to avoid
-It's a expensive option if you're not looking for all the features-Limited protection against the wind

The thin Thermal+ material the Pearl Izumi Pro Thermal jersey is constructed from does a very impressive job at keeping you warm around the 50 – 55 degrees F / 10 – 12 degrees C mark.

Capable of keeping you cosy in cooler conditions without the overheating that can be associated with thicker long sleeve jerseys, the Pearl Izumi Pro Thermal jersey also works very well under a jacket thanks to the low bulk construction.

The low bulk and open nature of the fabric does make it a breathable jersey, and in cooler climates or cold winds, you will need to team with a long sleeved wind stopper base layer. 

With no less than six pockets, other features such as the stiffened collar are also well thought out as are the reflective details, making it one of the best long sleeved jerseys for all day adventures and a pleasure to wear.

At almost double the price, if not more, than some of the long sleeved jerseys on offer, such as the Endura Pro SL II, it is a considered purchase, but if you're looking for low bulk warmth, and a high degree of practicality with all the pockets, you'll be very happy with the purchase. 

Triban RC100 Long Sleeved Jersey in the image is the blue version and shown front side on.

Triban RC100 Long Sleeved Jersey 

(Image credit: Decathlon)

Best long sleeved cycling jersey on a budget

Specifications
Sizes: 8
Fit: Male
Colours: 2
Reasons to buy
+Decent thermal protection +Four decent sized pockets+Exceptional value for money 
Reasons to avoid
-Fit could be better -Can get a bit sweaty when pushing the pace

The Triban RC100 long sleeved jersey is made of a mid-weight, tight knit polyester material throughout the jersey, which has a brushed inner face to trap air and make it more comfortable against the skin.

The tight knit outer face affords it some degree of wind protection and its tall collar keeps cold air from blowing in the neck. 

The Triban RC100 is a very comfortable long sleeved cycling jersey to ride in and feels snug and warm at lower temperatures, although it does however get a little sweaty if working hard or the temperature rises.

On test we found the fit could be a little better, with the sleeves a coming up a tad short, or very short if comparing against the Endura Pro SL Long Sleeve Jersey II,   and it doesn’t taper in quite as much as some of the other best long sleeve jerseys, but for the price it’s excellent.

There's also a lightweight summer version available that Triban say offers UV protection as well as breathability which is likely to be another great long sleeve cycling jersey option. 

The black Pro Aqua Zero Long Sleeve Jersey in the image is shown front on

Pro Aqua Zero Long Sleeve Jersey

(Image credit: Le Col)

Best long sleeved cycling jersey for rain protection

Specifications
Sizes: 6
Fit: Male, Female
Colours: 2
Reasons to buy
+Race fit design +Fleece backed for comfort with high collar+Warmth retained even in wettest of conditions
Reasons to avoid
-Frequent re-application of Water repellence treatment

The Le Col Pro Aqua Zero Long Sleeve jersey is made with Aqua Zero fabric with hydrophobic rain protection added to it to help water repellence. On test it put up a really good fight against the wet stuff, and although the water did eventually breach the repellence of the fabric, it maintained the original warmth - which was really impressive. 

The fleeced back inner of the jersey was sumptuously comfortable, and with the cosiness of high collar, will happily keep you warm on its own, anywhere between six and twelve degrees. Topped with a gilet you'll be able to wear it in much lower temperatures too.

On test we found that the water repellent coating does swiftly wash out, but it's an easy fix with an off the shelf DWR treatment, we even have a how to re-waterproof your cycling jacket page to help you.

It's not the cheapest offering, but if you find yourself spending a fair proportion of your rides are undertaken in the rain, it's the best long sleeved cycling jersey you can get. 

Rapha Brevet long sleeve cycling jersey in this image is front on.

Rapha Brevet long sleeve cycling jersey

(Image credit: Rapha)

Best long sleeved jersey for long distance events

Specifications
Sizes: 6
Fit: Male, Female
Colours: 3
Reasons to buy
+Looser more relaxed cut fit  +Warmth and breathability+Extra pockets for extra cargo+Odorless even after back to back wears +Fit on men’s version
Reasons to avoid
-Fit on women’s version could be better-Specific cycling discipline by design, so needs to be exactly what you are after to justify 

On test, we’ve highly rated the male and female versions of this specific long distance jersey.

Inspired by the long distance Paris-Brest-Paris endurance event, the font of the jersey has a zipped chest pocket for carry a brevet card that gets stamped at the race checkpoints.

Designed specifically for riding in low light, the jersey has two high-visibility stripes around the chest, along with a reflective armband. It's also made with a polyester/ merino mix, making it not only great at the double act of warmth and breathability, but if you do find yourself without the ability to wash between rides, then it's odourless! Making this is the perfect long sleeved cycling jersey for bike packing adventures. 

We found it the perfect long sleeve jersey for functionality, with pockets, zips and pull chords all over the place, liking it to the Swiss Army Knife of the cycling clothing world. But all this extra functionality does add up, making it not the lightest jersey (weight tbc) and in price, so if you aren't needing all the cargo space and have the ability to wash before each wear, you might want to opt for the slightly cheaper Rapha  Pro Team Training Long Sleeve jersey. 

Unlike other options like the Rapha Pro Team Aero Jersey the fit is much looser, arguably too loose on the Rapha Brevet women’s long sleeve cycling jersey , but it does mean that it can easily be dressed up or down depending on weather conditions.

How to choose the best long sleeved jersey?

The important thing is to list down your cycling needs before you go shopping, this will stop you buying with your eyes. Things to think about are:

What season will you be wearing your long sleeve jerseys in?

Are you wanting to make a cool or cold weather purchase?

If you are just wanting to take the nip out of the cool morning air, or add a layer during a warm up, then all you'll need in a thin fabric similar to that of a short sleeved cycling jersey.

A person in a cafe is looking at phone with a coffee wearing a long sleeved cycling jerseys

A long sleeve jersey can idea for just keeping the chill off pre event.

At Cycling Weekly we find these a kit bag staple, ideal for warming up ahead of a race or event. Added over a short sleeve jersey with arm warmers or a thermal base layer will extend its temperature range.

For mid temperatures, the best long sleeved cycling jersey for you will probably have a soft brushed inner and high breathability properties. A low collar will help regulate core temperatures, as will a permeable outer. The best long sleeved cycling jerseys that fall into this temperature bracket will also be ideal for riders who run hot, are training hard or racing in cool weather.

If you're looking for something to take you below the 12 degree mark then you'll want a jersey has thermal credentials.

For hot weather the best options will probably have mesh like fabric for ventilation and prevent heat build up. However, ensure you check for UVF ratings to make sure you are protected.  

This image is someone showing the fleecy inside of a thermal jersey

Fleece linings will help trap air, natures best insulator.

Look for fleece, soft brushed inners and close weave outers. High collars will keep the cold wind from whistling down your back. By layering up or down, the level of protection you'll get from the best long sleeved cycling jerseys in this category can be huge, from just above zero to low teens.

The best long sleeved cycling jerseys of this kind often come with additional weather protection features, such as a durable water repellent (DWR) coating or wind cheating capabilities.

A rider in this image has a white gilet on over a long sleeved cycling jerseys

Adding a gilet and thicker thermal base layers can extend the temperature range of the best long sleeved cycling jerseys.

All styles mentioned above - thermal or lighter weight long sleeved cycling jerseys - can easily have their temperature range extended via layering, such as adding a base layer, gilet or a packable waterproof jacket.

In really cold weather, you can even pair a long sleeved jersey with a winter cycling jacket, meaning that there’s a lot of use to be had from just one piece of kit.

Breathability and sweat wicking capabilities of the best long sleeve jerseys

All of thebest long sleeved cycling jerseys that we recommend will have good breathability and sweat wicking capabilities.

It's important however to ensure that you've chosen the right level of protection for your ride and matched it with the right base layer. Some brands will even provide their own base layer recommendations to ensure you get the maximum benefit from the model.

If you decide to layer up, just bear in mind that this might impact on both breathability and sweat wicking functions. It's a bit of a trial and error to see what works well together, but if you are popping a waterproof cycling jacket over the top or a long sleeved jersey, you might want to avoid any that have water or wind proofing already as this can hinder breathability the most, overwhelming even the best moisture management systems.

Fit of the best long sleeve jerseys

The ideal fit for you will depend on the riding you do and personal preference.

If you're looking to just simply keep warm, you may want to consider a looser style of fit in order to layer up underneath. High collars will also be on your tick list.

A man in the image is zipping up a yellow long sleeved cycling jerseys

The fit of the best long sleeved cycling jersey will depend on when you want to wear it.

If staying aerodynamic is more important, then consider tighter aero fits, lower neck lines and low profile pockets to ensure they don't billow in the wind when in the racing tuck.

Cuffs are the only other consideration fit wise as you are likely to want to pair yout jersey with gloves at some point. It's horses for courses in terms of gloves over or under sleeves, but whatever you choose, slighlty too long is better than slightly too short.

Some brands will have a few versions of similar models to choose from, so pay attention to fit guides.

Features and functions of the best long sleeve jerseys

As already mentioned, the warmer long sleeved cycling jerseys will come with more functionality.

The image is showing water beading off fabric

Fabric coated with DWR means water just beads off.

Wind and water protection will be the most common additional feature. Be aware though that for even the best long sleeved cycling jerseys any water-repellency will be in the form of a DWR coating which will need reapplication over time. It's simple to do, but does require you to keep on top of it after every wash.

For hot weather riding, you'll want to ensure that the best long sleeved cycling jersey for you will have plenty of airflow, allowing cooler air in, wicking sweat and bouncing off the harmful sun rays. Some of the best options even use fabrics, such as Coldblack®, to help reduce heat build-up as well as providing a UPF rating. 

Other features to look out for across long sleeved cycling jerseys will be reflective details for low light levels, and roomy rear pockets for stowing rain jackets and gilets as well as spares and ride snacks.

Hannah Bussey
Hannah Bussey

Hannah Bussey is Cycling Weekly’s longest serving Tech writer, having started with the Magazine back in 2011.

She's specialises on the technical side of all things cycling, including Pro Peloton Team kit having covered multiple seasons of the Spring Classics, and Grand Tours for both print and websites. Prior to joining Cycling Weekly, Hannah was a successful road and track racer, competing in UCI races across the world, and has raced in most of Europe, China, Pakistan and New Zealand. For fun, she's ridden LEJoG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, win 24 hour mountain bike race and tackle famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas. She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.